…or the old KISS Theory
In our workshops, Arnie and I work with people to capture the essence of a scene. If you open up a magazine — assuming you can easily find a real, paper magazine these days — look at the ads. So many advertisers have taken the approach of, “This is expensive, so I am not going to waste any space.”
Maybe so, but where is my eye supposed to go? There is so much “stuff” on the page that my eye is confused.
For those of you who are old enough, think back to the early VW ads for bugs. Big white billboard, little-ish black bug weighted toward the bottom, and the simple statement at the top left, “You’ll get used to us.”
It was clever, and it left no doubt of the message. There is an advantage to what artists call negative space. Rembrandt was the master of it. Hints of details in the shadows for him, but never any question of the subject at hand.
Some of the fashion magazines have great ads. Look at Vanity Fair, for example.
Here are a few example from last fall’s Lighthouses of the Outer Banks…
In this one, Arnie is celebrating the reflections and light, but finding patterns in them so that the viewer’s eye wanders around, discovering different elements.
I like simplicity of subject, so that it stands out; I have always been attracted to this cradle and its relationship to the water.
Arnie seems to have a fascination with pilings as in this one with reflections setting them off.
In this photograph, I loved the simple arrangement of the clumps of grasses, at least the arrangement was simple once I did some cropping in camera (not later in Lightroom).
So, you do not need to junk up your photograph to make it eye catching and effective. The old KISS theory works. Less is often more!
For more information on our workshops, go to Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.
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